Executive summary
Widespread human rights violations were inflicted upon white farmers and black farm workers by
agents of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s government during the seizures of whiteowned farms from 2000 to 2005.
In addition to the human rights abuses, immense financial losses were inflicted upon the farm
owners. Farm workers suffered catastrophic loses of income, habitation, health services and
access to clean water and sanitation that contributed to a high death rate, according to the
The combination of the human rights abuses and loss of livelihood have contributed to a growing
economic and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.
According to this survey of 187 former commercial farmers conducted over six months in 20062007, only 6% reported that they are still on their farms. Seventy-five percent said they are
Zimbabwean citizens and 65% still reside in Zimbabwe. This is significant as it shows that most
white farmers identified themselves as Zimbabweans, not British.

A total of 53,022 people – farmers, farm workers and their families – were identified by the
survey respondents as having experienced at least one human rights violation. Many experienced
multiple abuses. These abuses included assaults, torture, being held hostage, unlawful detention
and death threats. If this figure from the limited survey is extrapolated to include all commercial
farms nation-wide, the number of people suffering abuses during the farm seizures could be
more than 1 million.
The total financial losses incurred by white farmers responding to the survery, according to their
own estimates, are US$368 million.

If the survey’s figures are extrapolated to the entire

commercial farming sector the figure is an astronomical US$8.4 billion, according to the report.
The results of the survey are line with other estimates by economists, states the report.
The amount of damages, for which the Zimbabwe government should be liable, giving its overt
validation of the land invasions, would have catastrophic consequences for an economy already
in precipitate decline.

A Preliminary Report on Human Rights Violations on Commercial Farms, 2000 to 2005.

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